Britain’s Got Talent looking to shake up semi-finals

Simon Cowell is considering changes after viewers criticised last year's for being too formulaic

Simon Cowell and the Britain’s Got Talent camp are looking to make changes to this year’s live semi-finals to stop them being predictable.


You wouldn’t think a show that leaps from salsa-dancing grandmas to death-defying motorcycle stunts would have too much to worry about. Yet the BGT team are considering making some changes after viewers noted the trend for each of last year’s live semi-finals to kick off with a dance act and end with a singer.

They’re not wrong. Four out of five of last year’s semi-finals started with some form of dance act, while three of the five ended with a singer. Then again, only 13 of last year’s 45 semi-finalists were anything other than a dancer or singer (and five of the eight overall winners – from Collabro to Diversity – have been either a dancer or a singer).

Viewers aren’t just noting a pretty pattern: they’re questioning whether it affects which acts we vote for and is therefore fair. Voting lines don’t open until the end of each of the semi-final shows. Nevertheless, three of last year’s five semi-final winners were the final act of the night – could it be because they’re freshest in our memory? (Though, with the amount of re-caps, it’s never hard to remember who’s performed is it?)

A BGT spokesperson tells that no decision has been made about how the running order will be mixed up. Cowell has said he wants something more “random”, according to the Sun, which could be as simple as pulling names out of a hat.

But would that work? This is a show that puts an awful lot of thought into staging. If you’ve ever seen it live, you’ll know a lot happens in the thirty-odd second ad break and the order helps. After all, every round has to be bigger and better, and by the semi-final that usually means props. Lots and lots of props. Remember David Walliams’s Golden Buzzer act Christian flying in wearing pink wellies..?

Plus, if names were pulled out of a hat, we could end up with all of our hip-hop dancing clowns in one show, and that really just wouldn’t do, would it?


Britain’s Got Talent returns on Saturday 11th April on ITV